Shifting weight in the old rocker under a tattered manta, wrapping it tighter. Cold, the uncomfortable intruder.

I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free. The pages were so heavy with time that no whisper remained as she closed the cover. Worn, fraying, faded.


Setting the old book on the low table, she threw off the manta and reluctantly set her woollened feet on the floor, scarred and grooved, groaning and squeaking. The leathers protested as the rockers bore all her weight for the moment she took to stand.

Deep, noisy breath broke the stillness as a smile forced its way up from her belly, her arms stretched to their full length. Another deep breath and the footfall accelerated in ernest. Cold, the ultimate motivator.

The lamp sat quietly on the old oak sideboard, rust pock-marked the bright red enamel of its curves. A kaleidoscope of colors swirled in the glass, burned in over decades. It seemed that there was never enough paraffin to keep the old thing burning brightly. She turned the cap gently, and filled the reservoir counting to five, squinting as the fumes rose, strong and sharp. Full for now. Nearly gone were the ridges of the tiny regulator’s wheel, but the movement was smooth and with a shhhhh the flame once again burned high enough to flood warm, yellow light into every corner of the room.

Back to the quiet corner, only just a few quick steps, she grinned widely as she sat, wrapped again in her still brightly colored manta, picking up the new book. Lighter with time, but thick with images crafted from words woven into brilliant, wildly colored tapestries. New, gifted to her by hearts and minds so rich with their own words.

She opened, listening for the whisper as the pages popped to life. Page 1.



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